The Elderly Pose As Easy Targets for Identity Theft, Internet Scams and Financial Manipulation (Part 3 of 3)

Old Man 

As discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series, elderly individuals sometimes are the victims of financial manipulation by others.

Financial Manipulation By Family Members

It is sad and disheartening to learn that a family member is taking advantage of an elderly relative. The situation seems even worse if the elderly relative suffers from some sort of mental incompetency like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. This type of elder abuse happens more frequently than families would like to acknowledge.

The most common scenario involves a child, niece or nephew of the elderly victim. This younger family member presents him or herself as the elder’s care provider. He or she may superficially act concerned about the elderly person or may make a show of caring for the elderly victim and yet will systematically engage in siphoning money and funds from the elderly victim. The “caregiver” often will forge the victim’s signature on checks, make payments to him or herself, and will even buy expensive things, justifying the purchase as some sort of compensation for caring for the elderly person. Sometimes the financial manipulation even goes as far as justifying the purchase of a new home under the pretense that the new home will better enable the caregiver to support the elderly relative.

This kind of financial manipulation of an elderly loved one seems egregious, and yet it often goes undetected in families for a long time. In large families that are spread across the country, it is difficult to keep track of who is caring for grandma or grandpa and to assess whether the caregiver is doing a good job. The abuse also goes undetected because there is a sentiment that family cares for one another. Unless there is some sort of suspicious activity that would prompt cause for someone in the family to investigate grandma or grandpa’s care situation, oftentimes no one suspects a thing until it is too late and their accounts have been drained.

Financial Manipulation By Nursing Home Staff or Home Care Providers

Similar abuse can happen at the hands of an elderly person’s unrelated caregiver, such as a hired long-term care provider or staff at the nursing home. These situations are more often typified by the theft of personal property of the victim than by the theft of money, but sometimes money is also stolen. Jewelry, for example, might be stolen from the elderly person by nursing staff, and when the victim realizes that the jewelry is missing the staff might suggest that the victim is forgetful and must have misplaced the item.

Contacting an Elder Abuse Attorney

While it is shameful to think that someone in a position of trust would take advantage of an elderly individual in this way, the truth of the matter is that these types of things happen. Financial manipulation of elderly individuals is a form of elder abuse. If you are concerned that a relative, close friend, or caregiver is financially manipulating your loved one, you should contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney today. Contact Rooth Law Firm online or by phone at (800) 598-4348.

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